Finally, some common sense! On Friday in the Guardian World Bank head Robert Zoellick was quoted while speaking at an IMF meeting, saying that “in the US and Europe over the last year we have been focusing on the prices of gasoline at the pumps. While many worry about filling their gas tanks, many others around the world are struggling to fill their stomachs. And it’s getting more and more difficult every day.”
This is the condemnation of Ethanol that many of us have been waiting for — and it frames a problem I have discussed here and here. To wit: in a world of finite natural resources and arable land, policies which encourage us to grow fuel in fields inevitably lead to deforestation and competition with food crops.
The deforestation is a double-whammy: trees clean our atmosphere of carbon, converting CO2 to Oxygen. The fewer trees remain, the less carbon is processed by the earth’s biomass, and the more of it bleeds into our atmosphere. This further accelerates Global Warming.
But now, with rising food prices, it’s become quite clear that humans are competing with gas tanks for food crops. The inevitable result of this is famine, and as we’ve seen through previous famines, the inevitable result of those are wars.
Frankly, without some rational though on sustainability (which we won’t be getting from the U.S. anytime soon) we are only hitting the gas pedal on global warming and strife.